What it's like to quarantine with a ghost

Go ahead. Cue up the music. We'll wait. So: Who are you gonna call? As reported by The New York Times, in these days of self-quarantine during the first months of 2020 (as of this writing, anyway) people have been stuck at home. For some, that's actually been a good thing. For lots of introverts, honestly, it's just business as usual. If you share your living space with someone you genuinely like, who likes you in return — nay; up the stakes to "love/love in return" — this time away from everyone else can have very sweet benefits indeed.

But zoinks, Scoob! What about the guests who aren't invited, who aren't wanted, who are — dare we say it? Scary! And as much fun as Christina Ricci had with Casper back in 1995, most of us aren't lining up to share our very own self-imposed prison with, well, ghosts. It's not even October (yet). Talk about celebrating the holiday too early.

As The Times points out, "There is no scientific evidence for the existence of ghosts, a fact that has little bearing on our collective enthusiasm for them." It also seems to fall into the vague Weird Stuff 101 category that includes cryptids, like sasquatch, with a similar argument: Just because you can't prove it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Lack of scientific evidence aside a few folks are quite convinced that they are sharing their special quarantine time with a spook. Perhaps more than one.

Ghosts, or busters?

Take the case of Adrian Gomez, who lives with his partner in Los Angeles. After a few uneventful days of remote work, baking and walking they were disturbed by a "vigorously" rattling doorknob, audible from the other end of the apartment. Yet nothing was there, not even an Amazon package. Things got totally more freaky when in mid-April, Gomez was "in bed when a nearby window shade began shaking against the window frame so intensely — despite the fact that the window was closed, an adjacent window shade remained perfectly still, the cats were all accounted for, and no bug nor bird nor any other small creature had gotten stuck there."

"I very seriously hid myself under the comforter, like you see in horror movies, because it really did freak me out," he said. Things only got worse when the couple started hearing footsteps above them — despite the fact that no one lived above them. "I try to think, 'What are the reasonable, tangible things that could be causing this?', said Gomez. "But when I don't have those answers, I start to think, 'Maybe something else is going on.'"

Patrick Hinds might agree. Before stay-at-home orders, he and his family left Manhattan for a six-week cottage getaway in Massachusetts. Things were great until, late one night, Hinds awoke, thirsty for a glass of water. He walked into the kitchen and "saw a white man in his 50s, wearing a well-worn, World War II-era military uniform and cap sitting at the table." Better call Egon.

There's got to be some logical explanation. Right?

A YouGov survey from 2019 revealed that about 45 percent of American adults believe in ghosts. Also demons. If you ask very nicely, maybe Joss Whedon will put you in touch with Buffy.

John E.L. Tenney is a self-described paranormal researcher and formal host of a TV program called Ghost Stalkers. (To be clear, he's also a believer in extraterrestrial visitations — you know, UFOs.) He told The Times he's getting more and more calls regarding potential paranormal activity, things that are, perhaps, as described by another individual, "so weird, dude." He also suggests that people are spending more time at home, and so they hear what are perfectly normal house sounds — the building settling, creaking — they normally aren't around to hear. Likewise, says Tenney, maybe the ghost has been there all along — the living residents just weren't around enough to notice the spectral presence.

Or — just spitballing here — maybe there's an abandoned amusement park at stake. If those pesky kids from Mystery Inc. don't get involved, somebody might get away with something. Jinkies!